Wednesday, September 25, 2013

if a path exists toward a moral economy, we're not on it...,


scientificamerican | In every financial transaction–whether you’re selling a car, paying employees, or repackaging commodity futures as financial derivatives–there are ethical calculations that influence economic activity beyond the price. Sure, you can cheat a potential buyer and not mention that your 1996 Ford Mustang GT has a cracked engine block, in the same way that your boss can stiff you on overtime. If you get away with it you will succeed in making a short-term gain or see a bump in the next quarterly earnings report. But, if you eventually develop the reputation as someone who consistently defrauds the people you do business with, there is a good chance that the value of your net worth will be as negative as the moral values you embraced. 

But why is it that businesses that are “too big to fail” don’t seem bound by the same moral economy as the rest of us? It turns out that anthropologists may have some insight, not only on this question, but also how we might integrate our economic and moral values that so often appear at odds. Researchers have found that the interconnection between economics and morality is seen most clearly in small communities where everybody knows each other, everyone has a free choice in who they deal with, and gossip can make or break reputations. This is even the case for societies that look very different from our own.

For example, in 2006 the anthropologist Joseph Henrich and colleagues published a study in the journal Science (pdf here) based on their analysis of 15 different societies ranging from American college students to urban wage workers in Ghana to semi-nomadic foragers in the Bolivian rainforest. By having each group conduct a series of economic games, the researchers found that there was a positive correlation between how much people punished cheaters and the amount of altruistic behavior in the society as a whole. What’s more, every society engaged in some form of costly punishment even though there was a great deal of variability between societies. 

The researchers’ conclusion was that altruistic punishment emerged in our species through a process of gene-culture coevolution. In other words, human psychology is biologically predisposed to enforce a system of fairness, but how much we do so depends on the culture we see reflected around us. This result was later supported by another study in 2010 that developed a model explaining how even “selfish genes” could promote altruistic traits.

49 comments:

CNu said...

...if it is the case that fairness and cooperation are intrinsic features of the human species (at least within groups)

BigDonOne said...

USA is right on schedule for a similar Fuzzlamic Attack... ------> http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/number-muslims-u-s-doubles-9-11-article-1.1071895

CNu said...

Was the attack on the Nairobi shopping mall an example of the "subversion of America"? What exactly is it that you suppose stands/remains that is subject to subversion?

BigDonOne said...

They were killing non-believers, a world-wide Fuzzlim goal. White, you're dead - spoke Arabic you're good to go...

In America, there is a Fuzzlamic push to replace English law with Sharia law.
http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/islamic-law-in-america/

Also getting Islam taught in schools, something you'd never get away with if it was Christianity, Judaism, etc. http://www.invitation.to/dance/ISLAM-USA.htm

Just like 2nd Amendment erosion, a little tiny bit at a time....

CNu said...

rotflmbao...., whew!!!!!


Priceless.comedy.gold...., Thank you for that bracing shot of 190 proof white lightening....,

BigDonOne said...

Recommended reading item from BD's library, below...

Dale Asberry said...

Little Donnie, you worry about the silliest things. Clearly, in 10 years, Hispanics are going to be the majority and ENGLISH will be the second language! They're outbreeding you and your fine genetics.

CNu said...

lol, uh..., taken in the aggregate, if current demographic trends continue apace, then all u.s. minorities are due to outnumber u.s. whites by 2042

CNu said...

BD, I'm blithely unconcerned by any such fanciful prospect. In any event, it appears that DHS has provided make-work for a large enough IQ-75 Festus and Cooter contingent to ensure that any such improbable future state will be vigorously suppressed in the here-and-now, http://www.onthemedia.org/story/my-detainment-story-or-how-i-learned-stop-feeling-safe-my-own-country-and-hate-border-patrol/


Is it just Faux News/WND/Breitbart/Occidental Observer alone that gets and keeps you in an elevated state of alarm about wildly improbable outcomes, or, is a combination of that propaganda with meds that accounts for your energetic concern about nonsensical threats? Seriously dude, one need only look at the beleaguered condition of Native Americans to see precisely how the collective american white id deals with any group perceived as remotely constituting a threat.

Vic78 said...

You're a little paranoid. The 2nd amendment is not in danger. Islam is not going to take over any time soon. They don't even make 5% of the country's population. Terrorism is a tactic for the weaker party. Terrorists aren't even 1% of the Muslim population.

Vic78 said...

There is a way, but Americans have to get smarter and develop better ethical standards for themselves. Why would a person get into real estate without doing their homework? Who's the dumbass that makes 40,000 a year and gets a 300,000 house? What do people have against spending time with their kids? Why do so many goof off at work? Why aren't people taking life seriously? I'm not expecting much from people that don't do things to improve themselves. Being slow like Americans are frees the 1% to do the things they do. It would be impossible to maintain a system like this one on people that are really good.

Vic78 said...

The short answer is leadership is a reflection of the people.

Vic78 said...

They are failures in my eyes. They don't care about something unless they're affected. Fracking is one of the dumbest ideas I've ever seen implemented. It wasn't a problem until Slice people couldn't use their water. They're the ones that read New York Times and Wall St Journal. They're the ones politicians cater to for votes(they make sure they deliver for that class). As far as progress and making real innovation, they are as much a problem as the people on top. For them the world is fine as long as they're comfortable. A lot of the problems this country has is due to Slice stupidity.

On the other hand, the majority of change agents come from the Slice class. King grew up pretty well off. Angela Davis was a world class acadamian. We know how politicians like to talk about their privation growing up. Obama's mother was an anthropologist and his father spent some time at Harvard. Corey Booker's parents were IBM executives. It does make sense that people that saw better possibilities work to make things better.

CNu said...

Slice, alternative-Slice, anti-Slice.



Why exactly do you suppose that members of any faction of the Slice should work on behalf of peasants? (using Cobb's terminology)


Are you one of those fantasists who believe in a "common good"?


Aside from consuming finite resources and spawning more humans, what do peasants contribute to the betterment of Slice factions?


In the age of advanced robotics and cybernetics, what further good are the non-productive masses?

Vic78 said...

As far as working on others' behalf, everyone should at least be able to drink the water. Some issues should have everyone's attention. A person doesn't have to do much. One could at least not try to fuck 'em. Take schools for example. If a person can't come up with something better than more testing, that person should leave the schools alone. The peasants don't need any help in staying down.

One thing about this country is you can shake something when you decide to get serious. The chart doesn't have to be that bad. It really doesn't have to be when Black folks are sitting on a gold mine.

One gold mine is politics. Instead of scaring people about the GOP there could be an interest group. Fees could be from 5 to 100 a month. It could be for any issue or set of issues the group deems important. A whole lot would get done if such a group existed. I've seen AIPAC and the NRA's success. Why can't Black folks create such a group? The real question is why aren't the "leaders" on tv saying anything close to what I just said? They'd rather argue with Bill O'Reilly and cry about racism.

John Kurman said...

Isn't it obvious? People still make the best robots. That undocumented worker picking fruit has visual discrimination, dexterity, error correction, self-repair, energy efficiency, flexibility, and a generalized intelligence that is an R&D wet dream.

CNu said...

The real question is why aren't the "leaders" on tv saying anything close to what I just said? They'd rather argue with Bill O'Reilly and cry about racism.

Vic78 is truth!!! Accept no substitutes....,

5 to a 100 to kickstart some of Brother Ed's plans and yield a progressive return on investment. Or to fund podponics operations, create credit unions and buy up some of this fire sale urban core real estate, or to buy into the soon to be burgeoning hemp syndicates, etc., etc., etc.,


I'm going to guess that people whose full-time professional focus is on race, politics, and history don't have enough practical know how to organize folks around sustainable self-service/self-help projects and strategies. So instead of genuine Slice (who tend to serve the bankster elites) you have gatekeeping, fake-it till they make it, parasites play-acting grown folks business and deeply dis-serving the interests of constituents who can least afford this treacherous misleadership.

CNu said...

That undocumented worker picking fruit

Is a ruthlessly exploited, moral economic agent who was so deprived of acceptable life choices in Guatamala, southern Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, etc..., that they trekked thousands of miles away from home in order to get at some backbreaking work that American poor wanted no part of. Still leaves the predicament of the food-powered American peasant spawning more peasants and scant little possibility.

John, if somebody bankrolled plant, material, utilities, and paid you and a couple of skilled assistants to train, run, design product - do you think you could sustainably put people to work? What if the economics of the thing were calibrated to long-term apprencticeship, whereinunder part of the pay is dormitory-like room, board, etc.., and you could garner economies of scale from that communal arrangement that can't be gotten from the independent living-wage protocol?

makheru bradley said...

Lest we forget that the moderate Islamic Courts Union had established a degree of stability in Somala in 2006, until they were labeled terrorists by the Bush Administration, and overthrown by a US sponsored and supported Ethiopian invasion of Somalia. What replaced the Courts were some real terrorists, al-Shabab (the youth). The Ethiopians were defeated and subsequently withdrew from Somalia. In 2011 Kenya launched its own invasion of Somalia.

http://www.policymic.com/articles/2334/5-reasons-why-kenya-s-invasion-of-somalia-is-a-mistake

The massacre in Nairobi is yet another example of innocent people suffering blowback from America's meddling into the affairs of other people.

CNu said...

I completely understand. What I'm poking at John, is the tipping point conditions or baseline required to get folks up off their ritual/habitual American ways (you know, the ways that Thorsten Veblen skewered so relentlessly over a century ago) and to fundamentally and radically reorient their lives, lifestyles, and activities around somethings that will dramatically improve their lives, quality of life, life security, and meaning.


Why'n'a'phuk haven't young women, single mothers of one or more children, autopoetically reorganized around dormitory/communal living in urban monads in order to distribute the load of childcare, homeschooling, cooking, cleaning, security, etc...,? This is NOT rocket science, yet it hasn't happened and I'm not at all certain that it can/will happen under prevailing psycho-social norms.


Seems like they'd rather self-humiliate for a pittance on Maury Povich or Jerry Springer than coalesce into a moral economic unit which brings at least some of the benefits of a two-parent nuclear family. How long folks gonna talk about "it takes a village" and not do the simple reshuffling required to comprise a gottdayyum village?!?!?!?!

CNu said...

Bro. Makheru - could you please drill down a bit further on the extent to which these events are being driven by pure privation, i.e., are the so-called terrorists really some of the first waves of armed reaction to utterly insufferable conditions at home created by U.S. attacks and disruption?



See, I've been suspicious for a minute now that (hungry/deprived) = (terrorist/muslim) and that we're being fed lies whole clothe by the parasitic militarist machinery.

BigDonOne said...

We notice a leading item in today's Drudge---> Mall of America has heeded the warning BD posted a day ago concerning similar impending attacks in America....

John Kurman said...

The percentage of functionals is far too optimistic, and is also dynamic, possessed of high situational beta. I would estimate for any task, 80% of the 8% are fucking incompetent, slacking and sliding and passing off shoddy work for the more skilled to cobble into existence and make manifest. I may be speaking like a cop here, who has seen the LCD and has no expectation of seeing better. But in my first career, as IT production support and trouble shooter at four successive multi-biliion dollar corporations, I hate to tell you how many times I fixed ten-thousand-plus man/hour projects with helper programs and/or rewrites. Or how many end runs I did around shithead executives. It does take a village: to support the parasitic jellyhead 135-IQ l00zers that make up the Slice.

CNu said...

lol, your alternative Slice/anti-Slice bona fides have never been in question..., the question begged is, who and how does the anti-Slice/alternative-Slice engage as a constituency for the redesign of viable, sustainable, and economically moral constructs that are a dramatic departure from the prevailing cultural ritual habitual? http://books.google.com/books/about/Black_Empire.html?id=elpg_ZFkeg8C

John Kurman said...

1) Hen house. The fear and disgust, combined, produce the horror of the hen house. The fucking bickering, psychodrama, leg humping, and high dudgeon, this is your standard feminist collective. I ain't saying males are immune to that. If anything, they are even more the vindictive little bitch girlz. But buffer zones and dendritic regimes of appropriate males and females, like a nicely designed circuit, or a piece of Wootz steel, make the village happen. But, yeah, and a full throated yeah at that. 2) Being anti-social is one gadget in the American cultural toolkit that worked VERY well - provided there was a frontier. Now, not so much. 3) I actually think the Chinese might be on to something with their dynamic, permeable combined family ties/meritocratic rolling elite. Americans kind of attempt it, but it's far too arbitrary and threatens too often to become wholly exclusionary. Not sure how we get to Red White and Blue collectivism, but I'm thinking less churn, more butter, if that makes sense.

John Kurman said...

I have not, and it is not in my library system. But $11 used from Amazon? I've ordered it.

Tom said...

I'm with you on single-sex groups. The human brain has four hemispheres. You delete two of them you start to get behavior that's only interesting in the sense of cognitive-deficit studies.

BigDonOne said...

The incentive to work hard and do quality work is eroded when you know half of your compensation is being stolen to support the Really_Uselss IQ-75 parasites.
It's why so many just cruise and fake it....

ken said...

What you are talking about here was a people who were proud of their skill and had some personal commitment to be dignified no matter what the circumstances are around them. That's a lot different than the others you lamented about upstream who display themselves on Jerry Springer. And the mistake is projecting the mindset of the individuals you described here to the ones you lamented about above.


I found myself doing that for some street people, I considered what I would do in their circumstance if I were given a place to stay, money and food, and assumed they would do the same. I was projecting my mindset on what they would do. It was a valuable lesson for me, we don't all have the same goals, or desires, or even cares or even the same obligations to take advantage of what is given us. The people I afforded the comforts to, didn't take it as a step, or a rope to pull out of the hole, but instead it was just a temporary better way to enjoy the same street living that was always practiced. Although they didn't seem to like their life the way it was, there was no sign they wanted anything different.


Or maybe I should say, they wanted something different if it could be gotten by doing the same thing they have been doing all along.

CNu said...

Street people = tallow calipers


In the immortal words of the Architect: "There are levels of survival we are prepared to accept"



Street people are not among these "acceptable levels".



Folks who are struggling ferociously to make it within the status quo system - but just managing to keep their heads above water - are the ones qualified to participate in economically moral social engineering projects. Folks not struggling to maintain an acceptable level of survival, are immediate fodder for the soap, candle, fertilizer, and animal feed business of tomorrow, today!

Nakajima Kikka said...

Why'n'a'phuk haven't young women, single mothers of one or more
children, autopoetically reorganized around dormitory/communal living in
urban monads in order to distribute the load of childcare,
homeschooling, cooking, cleaning, security, etc...,?


You're basically describing a kibbutz. Kibbutzes, with very rare exceptions, have never been successful here, despite their obvious advantages. Neither have cooperatives. Exactly why isn't quite clear, but I'm sure the American individualist perspective has something to do with it.

CNu said...

Yeah man, I know too many Somali's living 15 to a room 3 wives, one husband 11 kids type configuration - who do what they have to do in concert with their countrymen - until such time as they cease being renters and have systematically taken over a whole apartment building, and from there, a whole city block.



American hen houses are tough, I work one floor down from one and get to witness a little bit of the needless childish drama daily. That said, "there are levels of survival we are prepared to accept" and all - and huge swaths of the rest of the world would DIE or KILL for a crack at the material abundance that American poor have at their disposal if they would only discipline and conduct themselves in a more highly motivated and goal oriented manner.


I think that the inherent conflict(s) comprising the impenetrable psycho-social barrier to adaptive living and working arrangements on the part of American poor is status-seeking. Folks go to great lengths to keep up the appearance of "normalcy" and within groups, go to still greater lengths to be at the top of the pecking order.

BigDonOne said...

Nah. The difference between modern slavery and historic slavery is now you don't get beaten & killed for not putting out. Today, if it comes down to it, you can go be one of the total leech EBT-swiping parasites yourself....

CNu said...

BD, the way you're struggling to outdo yourself in the "show my ass" category today, most rational folks would be led to imagine that I was running an ignorant fool contest and that you decided today was going to be your big day. http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=25745675&authType=name&authToken=wqbP&goback=.mpd2_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_20130913215601*525745675*5snap*5challenge*5day*51*5prepping*5for*5the*5challenge&trk=mp-ph-pn

Vic78 said...

I always thought the worker/owner model would work in America's hoods. I wouldn't try to encourage coop living arrangements unless you really like smoking weed. But I've been trying to come up with worker/owner models for some time now. It's kind of difficult when people ain't interested.

Vic78 said...

I've learned that lesson the hard way. They will waste your time and energy. If you aren't careful, their bullshit will rub off. I wish I were schooled about this kind of thing when I was younger and in obvious need of some game.

Vic78 said...

Damn, you're serious. Be safe, man.

CNu said...

This is a weed-positive neighborhood. As long as people are held to accounts for pulling their weight - no excuses allowed - weed is a good thing. Schuyler's use of an entheogen in his fictional "church of love" is an interesting speculative model. (Black Empire)

Nakajima Kikka said...

This book has many examples, in various countries, of functioning cooperatives and cooperative movements that have been around for a long time.

http://www.amazon.com/Humanizing-Economy-Co-operatives-Age-Capital/dp/086571651X

Vic78 said...

Appreciate that one.

Vic78 said...

I didn't like the coop living arrangements due to that one that's anti-weight pulling and other possible fuckery. The weed was how a person would have to deal with the stress.

Vic78 said...

I remember Black Empire. Schuyler was ahead of his time in attacking some of the foolishness we see today.

CNu said...

80+ years ago, and Schuyler left virtually no stone unturned in his ruthless lampooning of hokum.

makheru bradley said...

That’s reasonable suspicion Bro. Nulan, but I don’t think it’s applicable to this situation. There is no doubt that the famine which engulfed Somalia beginning in 2009 was exacerbated by the war, but we have to remember that Somalia was on Bush’s hit list of seven countries targeted for regime change.

“ We’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.” --Anonymous General to Gen. Wesley Clark

My focus was on yet another attempt by Afrikans to determine their destiny being disrupted by imperialist seeking hegemony in a minerally-rich region of Afrika.

Paul Gottinger gets to the crux of the matter:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/09/25/understanding-kenyas-westgate-mall-attack/

Nakajima Kikka said...

An interesting twist on this is that al-Shabaab apparently views their handiwork as a kind of post-post-modern art:

"The mesmeric performance by the #Westgate Warriors was undoubtedly
gripping, but despair not folks, that was just the premiere of Act 1,"
according to a al-Shabaab tweet posted Thursday.


Sounds a lot like the Joker: "Now comes the part where I relieve you, the little people, of the burden
of your failed and useless lives. But, as my plastic surgeon always said: 'if you gotta go, go with a smile.'"

CNu said...

Mebbe these "youth" been listening to Chief Keef an'em....,

CNu said...

What would the extra 20 years of data have shown?

The peasants perform all the physical, and the majority of the skilled mental, labor that the Slice needs to stay alive.

We arrived at consensus concerning mining and food-gathering. But you've got to be kidding about the "skilled mental labor"!?!?!

I struggle daily with a cadre of adults running the gamut from technically certified community college graduates to PhD's and out of a staff of several hundred folks, I'd generously estimate that there are a total of 5 highly competent, committed, and institutionally wise individuals whose combined abstract/symbolic - concrete/tangible efforts keep the roads rolling.

CNu said...

Peasants come in all wallet sizes nk-san.

That lifestyle and those life choices are not motivated by any decentralized desire to "keep the economy rolling", rather, the economy is kept rolling by a centralized livestock management regime of promoting developmentally arrested status-seeking and conspicuous consumption.

Class is not defined by $tatu$, rather, it is defined by discernment.

CNu said...

They won't...unless they have, or somehow develop within themselves, a deep feeling of kinship with the peasants.


Fairness and cooperation are intrinsic features of equals in contexts of abundance and/or necessity. In conditions of scarcity or perceived scarcity, the risk of competition among equals increases in direct proportion to the privation.